À la Carte ~ Crowdsourcing historic PNW menus ~ We need you!

How did restaurants handle the coffee shortage during WWII?
When did the beverage sauerkraut juice disappear from menus?
What was the price of caviar in 1911?

These are some of the questions we need your help to answer!

The University of Washington Libraries Special Collections has launched À la Carte, a project to crowdsource the transcription of the data contained in our historic menu collection.   Special Collections holds more than 700 menus from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest of interest to historians, economists, chefs, scientists, and everyday food enthusiasts.  The trouble is, the menus are very hard to search for the greatest treasures they contain: specific information about dishes, prices, and all the stories they tell about food history and culture.

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To aid in the discovery of these tasty tidbits of history, we’re working to improve the description of the menus in the collection by transcribing the menus, dish by dish.  Doing this will dramatically expand the ways the collection can be researched and accessed.  We built a website that will make this big job pretty easy to do.  This is where you and your friends, who also love food, become part of this crowdsourcing effort.  We depend on you (the crowd) to visit the website, look at a menu, and using the tools on the website, tell us what you see on that menu.  Dishes, prices, menu section, ingredients, and geographical location are the types of information you will be helping us uncover.

Interested? Contact info@uwmenus.org or visit the project website to complete the contact form. We’ll email you with further information about the project and optional summer meet up opportunities.

Don’t miss your chance to take part in this exciting new UW project!

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Project staff:
Anne Jenner, Pacific Northwest Curator
Ann Lally, Digital Curator
Sarah L. Ketchley, Digital Humanities

 

Introducing “Pacific Northwest Features”

We are pleased to reintroduce the PNW blog with a new name and broader focus. Pacific Northwest Features is a blog about PNW history, culture, and people, featuring collections from all around the University of Washington Libraries.

The Pacific Northwest Collection documents the historic and contemporary life and culture of the region. We actively collect rare books, maps, ephemera and other published materials, as well as personal papers, digital records, and organizational archives, photographs, architectural drawings, recorded sound, and moving images.  Major primary source collections include Labor Archives of Washington and the Washington State Jewish Archives.  The PNW Collection began in 1905 as the Northwest Collection.  Today it is part of Special Collections located on the UW Seattle campus in the lower level of Suzzallo/Allen Library.

There are dozens of other Pacific Northwest resources in the UW Libraries, found in departments in all branches and on all three campuses. We now invite librarians from all areas to share and promote Pacific Northwest titles and collections by becoming contributing authors to the blog.

Pacific Northwest Features shares stories about collections, events, exhibits, and our connections with other regional history collections and programs. Follow the blog by subscribing to email list to the left.  Browse through earlier posts in the Collections Featured category, and visit Special Collections to explore our fascinating collections.

Anne Jenner
Pacifc Northwest Curator, blog editor

New to the PNW Collection

A new year has begun, and we welcome three new graduate student assistants to the PNW team: Amanda Demeter and Erika Kerr are both first-year students in the iSchool, and Jen MacDowell is a first-year Museology student. Their work includes assisting to accession and process manuscript collections and to process new books and serials. Each student will join me in new efforts to promote the materials in our collection.

To start with we bring you some new titles being added to the collection. These books—some that are newly-published, and some just new to us—fall into a wide range of categories, from regional non-fiction to the outdoors and the environment, and from anthropology to poetry. Come by Special Collections to look at these new titles (some may be in the Libraries general collection http://www.lib.washington.edu/), or add one to your own collection!

Anthropology

People of the Middle Fraser Canyon by Anna Marie Prentiss and Ian Kuijt

A study of archaeological sites in the Middle Fraser Canyon in British Columbia enables Prentiss and Kuijt to tell the history of the St’át’imc, or Upper Lillooet, people from 8000 years ago to the present.

They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars

Xat’sūll chief Bev Sellars, as well as her mother and grandmother, attended the St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, British Columbia, where they were forced to conform to an unfamiliar culture.

White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning to Be Indian by Lawney L. Reyes

A blend of history and autobiography, this is the story of the author’s early life in the Indian village of Inchelium, which was destroyed by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.

Autobiography

Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox

Drawn from the journals and letters she kept during her time in prison, Knox shares her story in this new memoir.

Outdoors and the Environment

Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest by Sandi Doughton

Scientists predict that the next big earthquake in North America will happen here—and that this earthquake might be long past its anticipated date.

Home to the Nechako: The River and the Land by June Wood

The Nechako River has transformed drastically due to the construction of dams and other environment-altering projects. Wood tells about the land and the communities that were affected by the river’s change.

Land Snails and Slugs of the Pacific Northwest by Thomas E. Burke

This book has been called “the definitive and comprehensive guide to the snails and slugs of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Western Montana.”

Northern Exposure: An Adventuring Career in Stories and Images by Jonathan Waterman

Praised as “a call to action…to protect the North,” this book of striking images and engaging stories transports the reader to the Northern wilderness.

Oil and Water by Mei Mei Evans

This novel about an oil spill of the Alaskan town of Selby is influenced by the author’s own experience during the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Poetry

To Curve by Michael Daley

This book of poetry moves seamlessly between the past and the present.

Regional Non-Fiction

Boom Towns & Relic Hunters of Washington State: Exploring Washington’s Historic Ghost Towns & Mining Camps by Jerry Smith

Visitors to Northeastern Washington can find themselves traveling through long-lost and forgotten ghost towns and historic sites that were once home to miners, prospectors, and pioneers.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

In 1936, the University of Washington’s crew team—composed of nine working-class boys—drew new attention to the sport as they competed to win gold at the Berlin Olympics.

Douglas County Chronicles: History from the Land of One Hundred Valleys by R.J. Guyer

This collection of stories tells the rich history of the communities in Douglas County, Oregon.

Ghost Towns of the Pacific Northwest by Phillip Varney

The maps, histories, photographs, and detailed directions included in this book will help readers plan a trip to these towns throughout Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Journal of Everett and Snohomish County History, Winter 1982

This special issue features an index of Everett photographers from 1890 to 1935.

Murder and Mayhem in Portland, Oregon by JD Chandler

This book tells the gritty details behind many of Portland’s infamous crimes.

The Last Great Stand: Some Interesting Sidelights on the Pacific Northwest Lumber Industry

Facts about the logging in the Pacific Northwest fill this 1922 publication.

Vacation Land: The National Forests in Oregon produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 1919

Be inspired to visit Oregon’s National Forests as your read how they were described almost one hundred years ago.

Washington: Our Home published by Gibbs Smith Education

Learn about the history of Washington and its people, both past and present, with this textbook.

 

Jen MacDowell with Anne Jenner, PNW Curator

Good-Bye to All That

As most of you know, on Monday, June 24th the UW Libraries will be moving to a new catalog.  Over the past few weeks we have been freezing various elements of our old system, Millennium.

While I’m not inclined to get overly sentimental over these kind of things, it does mark a big change and this is the last I will see of a screen I have been familiar with for over eight years (at various jobs).

Here’s the bibliographic record (in MARC format) for the final (copy cataloging) record I added:

Little Jack Tar

And here’s an item record from the last (original cataloging) record I created:

American Red Cross Society scrapbooks item record
American Red Cross Society scrapbooks item record

Drop me a line on Monday and let me know how they look in the new catalog. I’ll be in Minneapolis at the Rare Books and Manuscripts (RBMS) Preconference.

New Special Collections Web site Sneak Peek

Screen shot of new Special Collections homepage

At last Wednesday’s Division meeting, the redesigned Special Collections Web site was unveiled to staff.  Feel free to send in your comments or other feedback during this testing period.  The new site is scheduled to go live on October 19, 2011.

 

More Farewells

With the change of seasons, our thoughts turn to those of our colleagues who have moved on (or soon will be).   A wave of wanderlust seems to have struck Special Collections this summer, with Europe being the destination of choice.

Researcher extraordinaire, Jessie Sherwood, departed Seattle last month to undertake a post-doctoral fellowship at l’Université de Nantes.  In a well deserved reprieve from chapbooks and scrapbooks, she will complete her M.L.I.S. from the University of Washington online.

Accessioning Specialist, Jeni Spamer (in a nod to Philip Barry?), has decided to take advantage of her EU status passport and is heading off to sample life on the Continent.   After touching down in the land of her ancestors, she will be throwing away the road map for real.  Jeni brought good vibes, dedicated professionalism, and tasty recipes to Special Collections.  Her unfailing good humor, patience, and can-do spirit will be much missed.

Although green with envy, we wish both our wanderers well and hope that they will send further word of their adventures.

Autumn Quarter Hours 2009

Wednesday, September 29, 2009 marks the start of the Autumn quarter and with it brings new hours for the Special Collections Division.  One major change wrought by the budget situation has been the suspension of Saturday hours for this quarter and into the foreseeable future.  We deeply regret any inconvenience that this modification of our schedule may cause our researchers.

As always, please check the UW Libraries Web site for the most up-to-date information about hours of operation.